Some Reservations About Legislation To Allow Credit Cards For On Line Gambling In Frederick County

Local delegates and state senators will consider this bill during the 2024 General Assembly Session.

Frederick, Md (KM) A new form of gambling would be allowed under a bill sponsored by Frederick County Councilman Mason Carter. This legislation would permit non-profit organizations to accept credit cards as payment for on line gaming such as raffles.

During last weekend’s Legislative Delegation Forum, Councilman Carter said this bill comes at the request of Jim Graham, the President of the Walkersville Volunteer Fire  Company. He said during the COVID-19 pandemic, the fire company could not hold events or rent out its fire hall to bring in revenue. “He informed me  of the hardship of the fire company faced during the outbreak of COVID-19 because social events were prohibited,” Carter said. “Because the events they relied on to raise money were not allowed, money began tor run dry.”

So the company tried another tact. “At this point, the company came up an idea to hold on-line raffles until they ran into a roadblock of not be able to accept credit cards as payment,” said Carter.

Such a process is not legal in Maryland, but this bill would allow that.

During Saturday’s forum, State Senator Karen Lewis Young expressed some concerns about this bill. “I worked for two major credit card companies: American Express, and Capital One, and neither permitted this; and the reason was the risk,” she said. “There was a high level of risk associated with this form of gambling.”

And that’s not all. “People make decisions very spontaneously that can come back and hurt them” she continued.

Senator Bill Folden said  on-line gambling in Maryland had become “unhinged.” “We’re allowing people on football games. You can bet right in the middle of the game,” he said. “And it’s funny to me, it’s ironic that during these games or  during these sporting events, we’re reminding people to be responsible gamblers. If you have a problem, call this number. But feel free to use your credit card, to keep putting further in debt.”

Carter said allowing credit cards for on line gambling will provide another venue for young people to give to  local non-profits.

The 2024 Maryland General Assembly gavels into session on January 10th.

By Kevin McManus